Let’s get one thing straight, Keeping Up With the Kardashians this is not. Banish any thought of Kim stretching out in her luxurious mansion in Calabasas: At Home with the Furys opens with a clip of boxing legend Tyson jogging with his dog along the beach at Morecambe Bay… only for the dog to squat down and do what dogs do.
“Scuse me, you haven’t got a carrier bag in there, have you?” he bellows to a passer-by. “He does more shitting than a newborn baby.” Celebrities: they’re just like us!
Despite its slightly dubious premise – come and chill out with Tyson Fury and his massive extended family – Netflix’s newest docu-series is 9 episodes of absolute gold. That is mostly because every member of said family is absolutely bonkers. The six kids (three of whom are named Prince) swear like absolute troupers, long-suffering wife Paris is left to keep everything on the road and there’s more gilt on the family casa than the Sistine Chapel.
The plot (I’m using this word generously, because there isn’t much) revolves around Tyson’s life post-retirement from the boxing world, and his struggles with his mental health. “When he last stopped boxing, Tyson had an alcohol addiction, he had a drug addiction, he suffers from a few different mental health problems: ADHD, bipolar, depression,” Paris says, ticking them off on her fingers like she’s going shopping.
This time is take two: Tyson is trying to pick up his life as retired man of 34 (imagine!), while trying to resist the lure of returning to boxing – something he acknowledges is the only thing that gives him purpose.
The scenes that follow are both howl-inducingly funny and wincingly awkward: a spontaneous trip to Iceland to “call out” fellow massive man Thor for a grudge match crashes and burns after it transpires Thor is actually “in Rome, filming some advert”; his attempts to convince his kids to wear swimming shorts to their PE lessons (“I’m going to get rubbed to fuck,” one moans at him) goes equally well; he finishes the day by telling his sons a variety of a Three Little Pigs bedtime story that ends with him clobbering the wolf and cutting their sisters out of its stomach. Sorry, what?
This being the Fury family, it would also be remiss not to give a shout-out to boxer-influencer brother Tommy and wife Molly-Mae, who pop up multiple times over the course of the show. We’re told they met “on a reality show”, but we first meet them here squabbling about who is going to clean out their cat’s litter tray. “I’m going to pass the cat-related jobs over to you, because cleaning poo out of the litter tray five times a day and feeding it is just not fun,” Molly-Mae tells her husband.
That’s the girl-boss attitude we love – and it’s followed up with a one-two punch from her husband, Tommy, who, during a family planning sit-down tells her (with a straight face) why he doesn’t want three kids. Ready for this? It’s because when the entire family goes on a rollercoaster, one person would be left sitting by themselves. This might have been the point my eyebrows left my forehead and launched into outer space.
As might be evident, there are too many silly moments to count, but there are also unexpectedly profound ones, too. The show – much like its glossier cousin, Keeping Up With the Kardashians – intersperses the action with straight-to-camera pieces where the family open up about the effect Tyson’s mental health has had on them, and on him.
Watching Tyson spontaneously book a trip to Pompeii (or try to: no airports in Pompeii, funnily enough) becomes less funny when Paris tells you, ten seconds later, that he has manic episodes as a result of his bipolar; similarly, watching him stalk out of his daughter’s christening and tell the cameramen to “fuck off” during an episode is deeply uncomfortable to watch.
So yes, this isn’t the Kardashians, but it’s arguably more compelling: fame with the varnish stripped off, rough and unfiltered. It’s the perfect type of trash: give it to me straight. I love it.